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Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Illinois on
Q: What can the disabled ward do? When the ward and guardian disagree? What options does the ward have
Stephanie Sexauer
Stephanie Sexauer answered on Jan 17, 2022

A Ward has the opportunity to seek to restore himself or herself at any time. This request can be made to the Judge directly or to the Guardian ad Litem (if one was appointed). Though it's not required, it would aide the Judge in making a determination that your circumstances have changed so... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Colorado on
Q: In Colorado, a Will can be notarized without being signed by witnesses. Is such a will considered "self-proving"?
Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait answered on Jan 17, 2022

In Colorado, a self-proving will must conform to Colorado Rev. Statute § 15-11-504 and does require two witnesses. Any will, notarized or not, that did not have witnesses is not self-proving. While it is possible to form the self-proving feature after a will is otherwise formed, it is most common... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My Dad passed away 30+ years ago, my brother is the executor of the estate and never fullfilled his obligation

Of dispensing the funds. The funds are in unclaimed funds and the monies are dwindling away. After numerous conversations and promises, he refuses to disperse the funds. I have filed a claim myself and provided them with the necessary proof, but they have advised me that as long as the executor is... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 17, 2022

In NY, If all you need is a death certificate, you should be able to get one from the Dept of Health. If you wish to be appointed as the new Administrator of the estate, you will have to petition the court, describing the situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: My dad passed away recently. My mom filed out Application & Assignment of Year's Allowance.

This has been granted through the courts. How does she access this money & what can it be used for?

I don't understand where the money comes from (all that we have listed on the form is cars/boat/personal property). All bank accounts were joint. Is this money that she can get to... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Jan 14, 2022

Without seeing the actual order, I cant tell you how to access it. Generally speaking, you would take a certified copy of the order to the bank or other entity and that would allow her to withdraw the money or transfer the interest. But once she has the money it is her money.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: Parents have a trust, but dad never changed titles of property or accounts into the trust. He recently deceased.

Mom is executor and trustee. Can mom avoid going to clerk of court or does she now have to open an estate? Should she still fill out that there is a will?

What does this mean..."If the trust hereinabove referred to in is not in effect at my death, or if for any other reason the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 14, 2022

You are describing what sounds like a pour-over will. It means that the testator wants all of his property to be administered by the terms of his (or their) trust. The best practice is to transfer all property to the trust during lifetime. The pour over will is only there to catch things that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: Single with children and no will

My partner and I are unmarried with two

minor children. With no will what would happen to the property in only his name?

H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq. answered on Jan 13, 2022

If your asking what will you get, in general a spouse will get only get an elective share as required by NJ law but only if you were living with your spouse at the time of his/her death and you were not subject to a post or prenuptial. Elective share generally ranges to about 1/3 of the persons... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Libel & Slander and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I inherited a house that I lived in with my mom for 30 years it’s not been transferred to myself and sister yet

She is the executioner of the will but she has been stealing valuables from the house so I added security cameras and she is making false claims she didn’t go through my personal possessions can I have her removed as the executive of the will? She inherited the house in a 50/50 split? Until it... Read more »

Shaneka Johnson
Shaneka Johnson answered on Jan 13, 2022

The personal representative of a estate is give certain authorities in the will. It is common for the PR to have authority to enter into contract and collect rents on property in the estate for the benefit of the estate. If you are not on the deed and are not the PR your rights have not fully... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My dad's life insurance policy. His wife, myself, and my sister are listed as primary beneficiaries.

if wife passes before policy is cashed out; who is entitled to her part of the life insurance?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 13, 2022

More than likely the Wife's Will Beneficiaries or her Next Of Kin. But there may be alternative beneficiary designations. In any event the Policy Beneficiaries may need a lawyer to make a claim on that Policy.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio on
Q: Trying to confirm the legitimacy of my fathers will. Upon his passing.

His wife AND his lawyer said they both have a copy of a 2018 rough drafted will (not signed nor registered). Later the wife finds another 2009 will she is stating it is signed (but not witnessed or registered). None of his children have been notified by a lawyer yet. Does she, as his wife have the... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 13, 2022

You can challenge the validity of the will when it is filed in the probate court. You should receive notice of documents filed with the probate court to open the estate, and then there can be a court hearing for you to object. The court is unlikely to accept a will that has not been properly... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is it mandatory to hire an attorney if will does not need to go into probate.

All parties are residents of Pennsylvania. Joint OR on all deceaseds accounts. Only one other party in will, can I just calculate the inheritance tax on the joint accounts with a cpa and pay the sum to the only other member mentioned in the will. Or am I required to have an attorney carry this out... Read more »

John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr. answered on Jan 12, 2022

… there is no requirement that you need an attorney for this in PA …

… however - you mentioned a Will as well as being on all of the decedent’s accounts or joint …

… that doesn’t seem to make sense … whether a CPA can interpret that is up to you …

John

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My brother passed away in Puerto Rico. The property is in P.R. there's no will. He has no children, no wife.

Our father lives here in New York.

I have power of attorney of my dad's real estate and financial situation. My mom is still married with my dad. Can we transfer deed to my dad? Can I do this with power of attorney. Who would have rights to my brothers house after his passing? What can I do?

Russel Morgan
Russel Morgan answered on Jan 12, 2022

You can report the property onto court in claiming ownership but with evidence on why. With our estate planning services we can provide you the help you need.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Montana on
Q: .My significant other has no will. What are the consequences for me upon his death?

We reside together in the state of Montana. He has a storage locker filled with valuables. My name is listed on the storage locker paper work.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 12, 2022

You are wise to be concerned about this. Single couples need to do estate planning more than just about any other demographic! The reason is, if a single person passes without a will or trust, his or her estate goes to the next of kin NOT TO THE UNMARRIED PARTNER. Also, if ANY person becomes... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for California on
Q: I am the trustee on my grandparents living trust. Who are their beneficiaries?

I am listed as the trustee after my mom who is deceased. My grandparents trust only lists their children, my mom (deceased) and my aunt. I can find nothing on the trust that lists a 'beneficiary'. I am assuming that my aunt is a beneficiary and is entitled to half the value of the... Read more »

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane answered on Jan 10, 2022

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's passing. I recommend that you have an attorney review the estate planning documents to help you understand the content. Due to COVID, it may be best to scan the documents so that they can be emailed to an attorney for review. It is also a good idea to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Maryland on
Q: I inherited the house I’ve been living in with my mom in a 50/50 undivided split

Can I rent a room out without my sisters approval who owns the other 50% it hasn’t been transferred into both our names yet as my mom just recently passed away. Can she say no even when I will split the income with her?

Shaneka Johnson
Shaneka Johnson answered on Jan 10, 2022

Who is the personal representative of your mother's estate?

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Hello from New York. My dad recently died, my mom died a year earlier, the house is still in my dad's and mom's name.

I live in the house. Dad and Mom wanted only me to have house, not my brother, because I took care of them for over 10 years. There are no papers signed though for me to have it. My brother said you have to have his name on it also because they left no papers for me to have it.

Is this... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 10, 2022

Your brother is right. Children split equally if there is no will.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Georgia on
Q: My husband received 100K from his Stepfather in form of a publicly traded company stock.

Originally it was owed by his Father. When he died it went to his Mother and when she died it went to his Stepfather. My husband didn’t get along with his Stepfather so I was surprised when his Stepfather gave him stock. Now that my husband and I are divorcing, is the 100K considered... Read more »

Regina Irene Edwards
Regina Irene Edwards answered on Jan 10, 2022

No one can give you an exact answer, but it is possible that the money was converted to marital property when it was placed into the joint account. Speak with an attorney about your case so they can review your documents and give you specific advice.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Virginia on
Q: Estate question at Mother’s request- my father died 4 year ago. All assets were held jointly or with TOD to my mother.

Assets include property, bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds and vehicles. There is no debt whatsoever. After fathers death, my mother had all assets, except vehicles, changed to her name with a TOD to my 2 siblings and me. Property deeds were also changed to include a TOD. Question 1- when she... Read more »

Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart answered on Jan 10, 2022

All great questions, and NOT suitable for a quick internet messaging site such as this. There are a lot of variables you haven't considered and not fully understanding them can cost you thousands.

Elder Law Attorneys handle this type of matter and can give you good advice. Most of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Texas on
Q: Is a certified adult name change order sufficient to attach to an existing Power of Attorney in Texas?

I got married and legally changed my entire name. I am the agent on my parents Statutory Durable and Medical POA', and I am listed as a beneficiary in their wills as well. My financial institution is allowing me to attach a copy of the certified order of my name change to their POA's for... Read more »

Daniel Palmer
Daniel Palmer answered on Jan 10, 2022

Statutory Durable Powers of Attorney are tricky in that different financial institutions have different requirements. While the certified order may suffice for purposes of one financial institution, it may very well not for another. The safest bet would be to create new powers of attorney which can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina on
Q: As power of Attorney for a relative who cannot handle her deceased son’s estate, can I name a family member executor?

I have POA over his next of kin, his mother, I need to name a family member executor.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 10, 2022

A person nominates an executor for his or her eventual estate in his or her will. An agent acting under a power of attorney does NOT have the authority to make or amend a will for the principal so, no, you cannot "name" an executor for another person.

Also, understand that a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Hi there, my dad recently passed away and he has no estate but has debt. If i inherit his car, can they come after it?

No other assets, but a bunch of personal loan debt. The car was owned free and clear and all the creditors have been notified of his death. I plan on doing an affidavit or inheritance soon, but I dont wNt to get sued by the creditors for the vehicle. Can they come after it to force me to liquidate... Read more »

Keith Armstrong
Keith Armstrong answered on Jan 9, 2022

Hi, Spokane heir. If your father did not have a Will, you may inherit the car, but under Washington law, all of the debts of your father's estate and all of the assets (owned and controlled by him) are available to pay creditors. All of the creditors must have a chance to get paid from the... Read more »

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